Law

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live By

Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465033091

Category: Law

Page: 640

View: 8725

Explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape the interpretations of this foundational document.
History

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live by

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: 0465029574

Category: History

Page: 615

View: 3621

A renowned constitutional scholar explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape our interpretations of this foundational document.
History

America's Unwritten Constitution

The Precedents and Principles We Live By

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: 9780465064908

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 4083

A renowned constitutional scholar explores the little-understood relationship between the written Constitution and the many external factors that shape our interpretations of this foundational document.
History

America's Constitution

A Biography

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1588364879

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 2608

In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.
Law

Revolution by Judiciary

The Structure of American Constitutional Law

Author: Jed Rubenfeld

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674017153

Category: Law

Page: 241

View: 9848

Although constitutional law is supposed to be fixed and enduring, its central narrative in the twentieth century has been one of radical reinterpretation--Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Bush v. Gore. What, if anything, justifies such radical reinterpretation? How does it work doctrinally? What, if anything, structures it or limits it? Jed Rubenfeld finds a pattern in American constitutional interpretation that answers these questions convincingly. He posits two different understandings of how constitutional rights would apply or not apply to particular legislation. One is that a right would be violated if certain laws were passed. The other is that a right would not be violated. He calls the former "Application Understandings" and the latter "No-Application Understandings." He finds that constitutional law has almost always adhered to all of the original Application Understandings, but where it has departed from history, as it did in the Brown decision, it has departed from No-Application Understandings. Specifically, the Fourteenth Amendment did not prohibit racial segregation, so Rubenfeld argues that the Supreme Court had no problem reinterpreting it to prohibit it. It was a No-Application Understanding. This is a powerful argument that challenges current theories of constitutional interpretation from Bork to Dworkin. It rejects simplistic originalism, but restores historicity to constitutional theorizing.
Law

The Law of the Land

A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic

Author: Akhil Reed Amar,Akhil Amar

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465065899

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 1800

From Kennebunkport to Kauai, from the Rio Grande to the Northern Rockies, ours is a vast republic. While we may be united under one Constitution, separate and distinct states remain, each with its own constitution and culture. Geographic idiosyncrasies add more than just local character. Regional understandings of law and justice have shaped and reshaped our nation throughout history. America’s Constitution, our founding and unifying document, looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas. In The Law of the Land, renowned legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar illustrates how geography, federalism, and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law. Writing about Illinois, “the land of Lincoln,” Amar shows how our sixteenth president’s ideas about secession were influenced by his Midwestern upbringing and outlook. All of today’s Supreme Court justices, Amar notes, learned their law in the Northeast, and New Yorkers of various sorts dominate the judiciary as never before. The curious Bush v. Gore decision, Amar insists, must be assessed with careful attention to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. The second amendment appears in a particularly interesting light, he argues, when viewed from the perspective of Rocky Mountain cowboys and cowgirls. Propelled by Amar’s distinctively smart, lucid, and engaging prose, these essays allow general readers to see the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions. The Law of the Land illuminates our nation’s history and politics, and shows how America’s various local parts fit together to form a grand federal framework.
Law

Originalism and the Good Constitution

Author: John O. McGinnis,Michael B. Rappaport

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 067472626X

Category: Law

Page: 308

View: 7760

Originalism holds that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to its meaning at the time it was enacted. In their innovative defense of originalism, John McGinnis and Michael Rappaport maintain that the text of the Constitution should be adhered to by the Supreme Court because it was enacted by supermajorities--both its original enactment under Article VII and subsequent Amendments under Article V. A text approved by supermajorities has special value in a democracy because it has unusually wide support and thus tends to maximize the welfare of the greatest number. The authors recognize and respond to many possible objections. Does originalism perpetuate the dead hand of the past? How can originalism be justified, given the exclusion of African Americans and women from the Constitution and many of its subsequent Amendments? What is originalism's place in interpretation, after two hundred years of non-originalist precedent? A fascinating counterfactual they pose is this: had the Supreme Court not interpreted the Constitution so freely, perhaps the nation would have resorted to the Article V amendment process more often and with greater effect. Their book will be an important contribution to the literature on originalism, now the most prominent theory of constitutional interpretation.
Law

Living Originalism

Author: Jack M. Balkin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674063031

Category: Law

Page: 480

View: 6485

Originalism and living constitutionalism, often seen as opposing views, are not in conflict. So argues Jack Balkin, a leading constitutional scholar, in this long-awaited book. Step by step, Balkin shows how both liberals and conservatives play important roles in constitutional construction, and offers a way past the angry polemics of our era.
Law

The Bill of Rights

Creation and Reconstruction

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300127089

Category: Law

Page: 430

View: 2760

Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarship and elegant legal interpretation a leading scholar of Constitutional law boldly answers yes as he explodes conventional wisdom about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution in this incisive new account of our most basic charter of liberty. Akhil Reed Amar brilliantly illuminates in rich detail not simply the text, structure, and history of individual clauses of the 1789 Bill, but their intended relationships to each other and to other constitutional provisions. Amar's corrective does not end there, however, for as his powerful narrative proves, a later generation of antislavery activists profoundly changed the meaning of the Bill in the Reconstruction era. With the Fourteenth Amendment, Americans underwent a new birth of freedom that transformed the old Bill of Rights. We have as a result a complex historical document originally designed to protect the people against self-interested government and revised by the Fourteenth Amendment to guard minority against majority. In our continuing battles over freedom of religion and expression, arms bearing, privacy, states' rights, and popular sovereignty, Amar concludes, we must hearken to both the Founding Fathers who created the Bill and their sons and daughters who reconstructed it. Amar's landmark work invites citizens to a deeper understanding of their Bill of Rights and will set the basic terms of debate about it for modern lawyers, jurists, and historians for years to come.
Law

Life's Dominion

An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom

Author: Ronald Dworkin

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307787910

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 2967

Internationally renowned lawyer and philosopher Ronald Dworkin addresses the crucially related acts of abortion and euthanasia in a brilliantly original book that examines their meaning in a nation that prizes both life and individual liberty. From Roe v. Wade to the legal battle over the death of Nancy Cruzan, no issues have opened greater rifts in American society than those of abortion and euthanasia. At the heart of Life's Dominion is Dworkin's inquest into why abortion and euthanasia provoke such controversy. Do these acts violate some fundamental "right to life"? Or are the objections against them based on the belief that human life is sacred? Combining incisive moral reasoning and close readings of indicidual court decisions with a majestic interpretation of the U.S. Constitution itself, Dworkin gives us a work that is absolutely essential for anyone who cares about the legal status of human life.
Law

Constitutional Law as Fiction

Narrative in the Rhetoric of Authority

Author: L. H. LaRue

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 9780271039275

Category: Law

Page: N.A

View: 2288

Political Science

That's Not What They Meant!

Reclaiming the Founding Fathers from America's Right Wing

Author: Michael Austin

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616146710

Category: Political Science

Page: 253

View: 9032

This book examines dozens of books, articles, speeches, and radio broadcasts by such figures as Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Larry Schweikart, and David Barton to expose the deep historical flaws in their use of America's founding history. In contrast to their misleading method of citing proof texts to serve a narrow agenda, Austin allows the Founding Fathers to speak for themselves, situating all quotations in the proper historical context. What emerges is a true historical picture of men who often disagreed with one another on such crucial issues as federal power, judicial review, and the separation of church and state. As Austin shows, the real legacy of the Founding Fathers to us is a political process: a system of disagreement, debate, and compromise that has kept democracy vibrant in America for more than two hundred years. Austin’s carefully researched and rigorously argued book is essential reading for anyone seeking the accurate historical background to many of the today's hot-button political debates. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Law

Fault Lines

Tort Law as Cultural Practice

Author: David M. Engel,Michael McCann

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804771200

Category: Law

Page: 408

View: 5338

Tort law, a fundamental building block of every legal system, features prominently in mass culture and political debates. As this pioneering anthology reveals, tort law is not simply a collection of legal rules and procedures, but a set of cultural responses to the broader problems of risk, injury, assignment of responsibility, compensation, valuation, and obligation. Examining tort law as a cultural phenomenon and a form of cultural practice, this work makes explicit comparisons of tort law across space and time, looking at the United States, Europe, and Asia in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. It draws on theories and methods from law, sociology, political science, and anthropology to offer a truly interdisciplinary, pathbreaking view. Ultimately, tort law, the authors show, nests within a larger web of relationships and shared discursive conventions that organize social life.
Law

The Living Constitution

Author: David A. Strauss

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199752539

Category: Law

Page: 176

View: 3110

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once remarked that the theory of an evolving, "living" Constitution effectively "rendered the Constitution useless." He wanted a "dead Constitution," he joked, arguing it must be interpreted as the framers originally understood it. In The Living Constitution, leading constitutional scholar David Strauss forcefully argues against the claims of Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and other "originalists," explaining in clear, jargon-free English how the Constitution can sensibly evolve, without falling into the anything-goes flexibility caricatured by opponents. The living Constitution is not an out-of-touch liberal theory, Strauss further shows, but a mainstream tradition of American jurisprudence--a common-law approach to the Constitution, rooted in the written document but also based on precedent. Each generation has contributed precedents that guide and confine judicial rulings, yet allow us to meet the demands of today, not force us to follow the commands of the long-dead Founders. Strauss explores how judicial decisions adapted the Constitution's text (and contradicted original intent) to produce some of our most profound accomplishments: the end of racial segregation, the expansion of women's rights, and the freedom of speech. By contrast, originalism suffers from fatal flaws: the impossibility of truly divining original intent, the difficulty of adapting eighteenth-century understandings to the modern world, and the pointlessness of chaining ourselves to decisions made centuries ago. David Strauss is one of our leading authorities on Constitutional law--one with practical knowledge as well, having served as Assistant Solicitor General of the United States and argued eighteen cases before the United States Supreme Court. Now he offers a profound new understanding of how the Constitution can remain vital to life in the twenty-first century.
Political Science

The Citizen's Constitution

An Annotated Guide

Author: Seth Lipsky

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465024300

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 1091

Pocket versions of the Constitution of the United States of America abound, as do multi-volume commentaries, scholarly histories of its writing, and political posturings of various clauses. But what if you want a delightfully quick, witty, and readable reference that, in one compact volume, places the document and its clauses into context? You’re out of luck—until now. Written by Seth Lipsky, described in the Boston Globe as “a legendary figure in contemporary journalism,” The Citizen’s Constitution draws on the writings of the Founders, case law from our greatest judges, and current events in more than 300 illuminating annotations. Lipsky provides a no-nonsense, entertaining, and learned guide to the fundamental questions surrounding the document that governs how we govern our country. Every American should know the Constitution. Rarely has it glinted so brightly.
Law

The Constitution and Criminal Procedure

First Principles

Author: Akhil Reed Amar

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300074888

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 7457

Under the banner of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, the Supreme Court of America has constitutionalized vast areas of criminal procedure law in ways that often reward the guilty whilst hurting the innocent. This book reconceptualizes the basic foundations of the criminal procedure field.
Law

American Epic

A Reader's Guide to the U.S. Constitution

Author: Garrett Epps

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199974748

Category: Law

Page: 274

View: 1854

"The United States is the only nation in the world in which political leaders, judges and soldiers all swear allegiance not to a king or a people but to a document, the Constitution. The Constitution today, however, is much revered but little read. . Readers of AMERICAN EPIC will never think of the Constitution in quite the same way again. Garrett Epps, a legal scholar who is also a journalist and writer of prize-winning fiction, takes readers on a literary tour of the Constitution, finding in it much that is interesting, puzzling, praiseworthy, and sometimes hilarious. Reading the Constitution like a literary work yields a host of meanings that shed new light on what it means to be an American"--
Law

Constitutional Theory

Arguments and Perspectives

Author: Michael J. Gerhardt

Publisher: Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 731

View: 4057

Business & Economics

The Dynamic Internet

How Technology, Users, and Businesses are Transforming the Network

Author: Christopher Yoo

Publisher: AEI Press

ISBN: 0844772291

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 5637

The Dynamic Internet: How Technology, Users, and Businesses are Changing the Network offers a comprehensive history of the Internet and efforts to regulate its use. University of Pennsylvania law professor Christopher S. Yoo contends that rather than engaging in prescriptive regulatory oversight, the government should promote competition in other ways, such as reducing costs for consumers, lowering entry barriers for new producers, and increasing transparency. These reforms would benefit consumers while permitting the industry to develop new solutions for emerging problems. It is fruitless for government to attempt to lock the burgeoning online industry into any particular architecture; rather, policymakers should act with the knowledge that no one actor can foresee how the network is likely to evolve in the future.